Honey in a Bear

There’s nothing like opening your door to throw garbage down a chute and seeing raw honey hanging on your door. Thank you to my sweet friend, Donnell! I loved the honey and had a couple of spoonfuls to get over these awful allergies. I’ve never had them before I moved to New York and never realized how awful they make a person feel until this season.

A spoon and a half of honey a day makes the allergies go away! Raw and unprocessed honey contains bits of proteins from the pollen that bees feast on. Taking that into your body not only helps you boost your immune system, but it also helps ease allergies. This is especially true when you eat local honey, made from local pollens. I’m all for doing it the natural way!

Breakfast: I think it’s really important to have meals together with your family and friends. Because my husband and I don’t really get to spend time together during the week, we love to have breakfast together. Today, we had Breakfast Bakes with Cheddar and Broccoli.

Lunch: Baked Chicken with Wheat Mini Pasta and Broccoli and Tomatoes.

Dinner: No time for a formal dinner tonight. After seeing White’s Lies, I went to a party in SoHo and had a few snacks, such as tortilla chips with organic salsa from Whole Foods. Hopefully, I’ll have some photos from the party up tomorrow.

The Sickies

It’s one of those days where I feel exhausted and sick, so I’ve decided to cancel my plans for tonight. No exercise class and certainly no play (The Fantasticks). I felt really guilty about canceling out on my tickets, but there are moments when you just have to take your evening to rest.

The only excitement was that I met Ray for a quick bite about 6PM at our local diner. We didn’t stay long and there wasn’t much chit chat because we were both exhausted. We usually rely on our weekends to catch up on sleep and since we missed out last weekend, we were both feeling very tired and ill. After we got home, we crawled into bed and flipped on a movie called, “Pirate Radio.” We only watched a few minutes before we fell asleep for the next 12.5 hours. We watched the rest the next morning and I can definitely recommend it. It was a great movie, once we finished watching it in the morning.

Breakfast: Oatmeal with Raisins and Cinnamon.

Lunch: Beef, Mashed Potatoes and Broccoli.

Dinner: Mashed Potatoe with Broccoli and Chedder. (I only ate half)

One Step at a Time

I went walking by the Hudson River this morning and had my point and shoot camera with me, so I took a couple of interesting shots as I walked along. This police officer riding on a horse with a statue next to him struck me. Glad I had my G10 on my shoulder, so I could quickly snap it. One second later, the shot completely changed.

Walking is so amazing and gives so much to your cardiovascular system. I remember learning somewhere that even if you walk 10 minutes per day it adds several years to your life. If you aren’t a runner (I’m not excited about running), you can walk. It’s also enjoyable, you notice more, you come across interesting stories, you meet new people, you get some Vitamin D in your system (which most of us are lacking) and you get the breathe fresh air instead of circulated building air. It’s also nice to walk with someone, it’s definitely a time away from distraction and a time when you can focus on catching up with someone or getting to know someone better.

I love walking and talking to random people. Just today, I talked to a doorman, who told me that he received a piece of art from Tom Otterness when he became employee of the year. Above, you can see his art. He’s famous for his NYC subway art.

Breakfast: Oatmeal with Cinnamon and Raisins. I poured on the Cinnamon–it gives the oatmeal such a great flavor.

Lunch: Tomatoes and Feta on a Whole Wheat Pita.

Dinner: Beef with Onions and Celery.

Portion Control

This morning, I woke up at 6:30AM and worked out hard. I walked/ran to the Tate Building (it took me around 40 minutes) and met Marina, Cecilio, Mary Rose and Donnell for our morning 2.5 walk/run. As you can see, we had a special visitor join us this morning. His name is Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Marina also took me to the gym to work on my upper body strength. After all of that was done, I walked back home and resisted the urge to jump on a bus, even though I knew it would take me close to an hour to get back home and I knew how much work I had ahead of me. However, I kept reminding myself that I wouldn’t be able to make it to class tonight, so I wanted to work hard, especially after the weekend of gorging and weight gain.

Breakfast: Oatmeal with Cinnamon and Raisins. Tea with lemon, of course–but I didn’t put it in the shot because I thought it made the photo way too busy.

Lunch: 60 Calorie Mini Pita with Munster Cheese. Lots of Red Crushed Peppers.

So, tonight, I went to the 2010 New York Republican State Dinner. I’ll write a separate post about that tomorrow. The dinner was fabulous and had fantastic speakers. I was able to really control my portions tonight, which shocked me. I just tried to eat half of the salad and entree. The dinner included a mozzarella salad with tomatoes and mushrooms.

For the entree, I had all of my veggies, carrots and brocolli, 1/2 a chicken breast and a 1/4 of the mashed potatoes.

Dessert was this tiramisu type cake, but I only had two spoonfuls.

I thought this wine bottle was really cute. I had about half a glass of this delicious white wine, but mainly splurged on a diet coke. I know it sounds like I’m really restricting myself, but I felt very satisfied with my portions and didn’t feel I needed anymore than I had. It IS possible. Trust me, if I can do it, you can too!

Halfway Done!

Happy Half-Way Day. Today is day 45, so I am celebrating!

After a weekend of some self-indulgence, I went to Marina‘s class, which made my entire shirt soak in sweat. I feel a little guilty for taking the subway back tonight, since I could definitely smell my sweat and it wasn’t good. I think Marina knew that we needed that workout after a Memorial Day weekend break. It was incredible to power it out together.

FYI, if you want a move that will make you sweat like nobody’s business, try the one Marina is doing in the photo above. Just holding your leg straight out like this and then doing leg lifts is brutal. In moments like this, sweat is just pouring down my face and neck. It’s interesting how a tiny movement like this can do a lot of strength training and feel like an incredible amount of work. With a trainer like this, you know you’ll get a full body workout.

Breakfast: Multigrain Muffin with Low Fat Laughing Cow Cheese.

Lunch: Multigrain Muffin with Ham and Low Fat Munster Cheese. Melted in the toaster oven, of course.

Dinner: Chicken Quesidilla with Hot Peppers.

Goodbye Cayuga Lake

Sadly, we had to leave today to drive the 4.5 hours back to Manhattan.

Before we drove back, I sat on the dock for a while and dipped my feet into the water (with some trepidation because I was wondering if a snake would come by) and snapped a few photos.

I made sure to eat outside to enjoy the last moments at this gorgeous lake.

Breakfast: Granola and Skim Milk.

Lunch: Chicken Lasagna with Whole Wheat Noodles. Believe it or not, each serving is around 200 calories. The key is…stopping at one serving. Yikes, that’s always a challenge, isn’t it?

Dinner: Mushroom and Cabbage Krokety (or Crepe type things!) Our friend, Monika, who stayed in our apartment for the weekend, was there to greet us and eat dinner together. She made some delicious Polish food, which we shared together. Ray had the potatoe salad, but I just had tomatoes with the krokety.

Graduation from Cornell

This morning, I woke up at 6AM, hopped in the shower and quickly got out the door. The breakfast food pics went by the wayside because of the rush to get to the campus and go to a Catholic Mass at 8AM at the Annabell Taylor Auditorium. We found parking about 20 minutes away from campus. I was surprised the campus did not have all the old buildings I pictured in this ivy league school, but it was still a really lovely campus.

We needed to be in the stadium at 9AM for the first part of the commencement, but we were there a little before 10am because the procession stopped us from getting through to the stadium.

After that, we went to the other part of the commencement, which was broken up into majors, so Ray’s brother, Brett, received his diploma quite quickly. We left a bit early for a gorgeous lunch to celebrate Brett’s graduation from Cornell. He has big shoes to fill, following in the footsteps of the most famous Cornell alum, the great mid-level paper salesman Andy Bernard. We drove through Scranton on the way home from Ithaca, but did not have time to stop at the Lackawanna Coal Mine Museum.

At the lunch, I decided to try a flight of Scotch, given my newfound appreciation for the spirit. It was delicious.

Before the entree arrived, I received a salad with a lemon vinaigrette.

Then for my main course, I ordered a Samosa with Veggies. I played with a remote flash to make the shadow effects.

I even had dessert, a chocolate cake with chocolate ice cream, which satisfied my craving.

To add to the succulent flavors, I had a coffee with flavored creme. I know that I fell off the wagon, but it was worth every bite. Now, I have another 47 days of working out and getting to my goals.

Dinner: Chicken Lasagna with Whole Wheat Noodles. Less calories than a regular lasagna–in fact, it is around 200 calories, but still very filling.

Hiking to a Gorge

We woke up in a beautiful house, overlooking Cayuga Lake to the sounds of splashing. My dad-in-law jumped in the water and took a long swim in Cayuga Lake. After a very big 2 foot water snake swam past him, he quickly paddled over to the edge and got out of the water.

I ate cornflakes for breakfast, even though there were delicious cookies in abundance. You can see how happy I was about that.

We drove to the Corning Glass Museum, which was much more exciting than I anticipated. Actually, I would put it in top 5 museums.

There are all sorts of really interesting pieces and lots of demos and things you can touch and see in action.

My sis-in-law, Christine and I decided to pull glass and created large glass flowers. We had a lot of fun doing it.

First, you take a small piece of hot glass at around 800 degrees and die it. This part is the stem.

Then you put more glass on and then you flatten it.

After this, you pull pieces to form the petals. You have to keep spinning it around and pulling very quickly because the glass hardens quickly.

A beautiful flower forms out of all your hard and heated work!

We picked up some cakes for my mom-in-law’s birthday and Brett and his girlfriend’s graduation.  We stopped at a local bakery, which had fun cakes shaped in burgers that actually tasted good, as well as looked good.

After the glass museum, the family went out to the Robert Tremen State Park to have a picnic. I was excited about exploring the area and hiking.

Ray and I did a long walk up and down the mountains and discovered a gorge with a steep drop off.

The hike was beautiful and the bbq was so good that I forgot to take photos of my food!  But, I had veggies, crackers with “Polly’s Patte,” which was a dip with garlic and feta cheese. I got the recipe-it was amazing, so maybe I’ll make it and blog about it soon.

An Alaskan Breakfast and a Trip

After 2.5 hours of sleep, I woke up to prepare for breakfast with our guest of honor, an Alaskan man that my dear friend, Monika, is dating. He flew in from Ketchikan for Memorial Day Weekend. Ray and I furiously got things together, packed for our trip, cleaned and cooked. I stepped across to the bodega to get some flowers and milk. It was all worth it because we had a beautiful breakfast together.

We had a typical Polish spread–lots of delicious food out, with coffee and tea. On the table were “nalesniki” or crepes. These nalesniki were warm and filled with creme cheese.

We also had potatoe salad, scrambled eggs with peppers and apple crumb cake.

My father-in-law joined us a little later and also had some breakfast, which he liked so much that he asked if he could have a second crepe.

After a few hours on the road, we arrived at the Finger Lakes and went to Glenwood Pines Diner for dinner, the home of the Pineburger challenge. This involves eating 4 large 6 ounce burgers in one hour. The winner gets their photo on the wall of the diner and facebook. I didn’t do the challenge, but I did have 1/2 of a burger along with some fries from dinner. I’m not sure if I stuck to my 300 calorie range, but it’s hard when you’re traveling–I guess smaller portions are the key.

We had some Ithaca beer and root beer.  It was delish!

The diner had a really neat feel to it, there were old arcade games and a bowling machine with pins that went up, instead of getting knocked down.

It was a great night and I got some great news by the end of it — Paul proposed to Monika!

On Vacation in Ithaca

Hello Readers!

Just want to let you know that I’ll update tomorrow on the past two days. I would stay up today, but it’s been months of sleepless nights and I need to still shower tonight. Tomorrow, I am waking up very early to make it to Church before the graduation.

I’ve just included one picture of the beautiful hike Ray and I went on today. The photo is of a waterfall in a gorge.

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